By Susan Wolking
Something just didn’t feel right.
My husband, Jeff, and I had moved to a lovely house in Hidden Meadows and were settling in to what we thought was the perfect environment for our new life as retirees. We loved the beautiful surroundings and the laid-back feel of the community. Our neighbors were super welcoming and before we knew it, we were involved in a number of social activities.
But our dream lifestyle was missing a critical element — an authentic mom and pop diner where we could go regularly for some good ‘ole, down-home cooking. When we lived in Poway, we would drive up to Ramona every week to a small-town restaurant called the Country Kitchen. It was the kind of folksy place where the waitresses knew your name and brought you your favorite items without having to be asked.
Our move north, however, made weekly trips to Ramona impractical. We immediately started exploring various “family-style” restaurants in Escondido, but had difficulty finding something with the kind of homey vibe our old spot had. After several unsatisfying scouting trips, we were starting to feel a tinge of homesickness. Finally, with the help of Yelp, we found exactly what we had been looking for. Appropriately enough, it’s called the Home Sweet Home Cafe.
The restaurant is located at 662 Enterprise Street, in a somewhat less-than-attractive industrial area just south of the 78. Inside, however, the environment is warm and comfortable, full of contented regulars and friendly waitresses that love to joke around. The place can get busy, but someone comes by regularly to refill your coffee and you can sit there reading the morning paper without feeling pressured to turn over your seat quickly.
The menu is full of great “comfort food” choices. Jeff and I often split an omelet and an order of french toast. The omelets come with hash browns or country potatoes and toast, but you can substitute the tomatoes or fresh fruit. Some of our favorite omelets are the Veggie, the Tom’let and the Baja. My husband also likes the Devon Benedict and sometimes sneaks back alone for a mid-week lunch of biscuits and gravy.
Home Sweet Home Cafe is open from 5am – 2pm weekdays, 5am – 1pm Saturday and 7am – 1 pm Sundays. Parking is limited and there is sometimes a wait, but it’s worth it. If you’re like us, you’ll feel like you’ve come home.